tv 10 O Clock News KICU September 9, 2010 10:30pm-11:30pm PST
at least 25 others injured. at least 20 of them injured critically. you can see in these live pictures here just a lot of emergency personnel on scene. this is over a large residential area, and like i said before, we have reporters across a wide area tonight. let's begin our coverage right now with amber lee in one of the neighborhoods down there in san bruno. amber, what can you tell us. >> reporter: we're on san bruno avenue, this area is under evacuation order. we want to show you what the fire looked like, even just
about an hour, hour and a half ago, the orange flow of flames is not a welcome sight as the fire continues to consume homes. many people told us they can't believe what they are seeing. right now i want to tell you that this is san bruno avenue. caution tape is up, they want to keep people from going beyond this point which is crest point and san bruno avenue. when we first got here, we were just above the hill. some of the people told me they
were shopping. while we were on san bruno avenue, this is some of the flames we've been seeing tonight. take a look. the orange glow, again the orange glow is not a welcome sight for people who live in this area. many people told us simply that they are frightened, they are wondering what has happened to their neighbor, friends, relative who is live in the area. some were able to get ahold of loved one, others were not. let's hear some of the descriptions from some of the witnesses who tell us what they saw. >> it was just a huge explosion, not loud. but we thought the explosion, more than that, we felt the heat. it was like a huge heat wave coming our way. it sucked the air out for a minute. >> the flames were high in the air, about 6 feet or so.
>> reporter: a neighbor that is under evacuation orders. one neighbor toll us she's shocked by what happened. >> i thought the world was coming to an end. i really did. >> reporter: their son said it's hard to leave their family home. >> they told us right now. >> what are you waiting for? >> it's hard to leave your home. >> it's very devastating to see your neighbors, that have been here for many years. it's a good neighborhood, good people. and just in a flash things turn upside down. >> reporter: back here live san bruno avenue remains closed. as you can see police officers are watching so people don't go beyond this caution tape. you will notice it's completely dark out here expect for the
emergency vehicles. that's because pg & e has shut off power to this entire area as a precaution. even the residents who are not under evacuation orders tell us they will not be staying here because there's no utilities and that is the latest from here. amber lee, ktvu channel 2 news. >> very good amber. i think i hear lloyd lacuesta in the background. you're at kaiser where there's people who have been very badly injured. >> reporter: that's right, some people are actually leaving right now. that gentleman told me he had been in the emergency room because of the fire. he had his family here. they are getting ready to go. i wanted to see if we could talk to him. okay, thank you. he just said that they really don't feel like talking right
now and i can understand that. i talked to one man who came out and he said that there's nothing to go home to, everything is gone. with me now is carl sanken who is a hospital employee. what are the numbers now in the emergency room? >> four people have been transferred to the burn unit at st. francis. there are three people that remain in the emergency department. they are from the i incident. we have a total of 12 people, but only two are from the fire incident. we talked to you earlier that we are trying to find clothes, a lot of really concerned citizens here who saw your report have been dropping off clothes. so, we're doing pretty well on getting clothes for the people who have either been hospitalized or are still in the emergency department. >> reporter: those 12, what are
the extent of the injuries. >> no, lloyd. it's not 12 from the fire incident. let's do the numbers again. there's 12 people and two from the fire incident. >> reporter: but you had 15 at one point, what was the extend of the injuried. >> i'm not sure and it would be patient privacy. >> reporter: and earlier we talked to a man who had been here with his 13-year-old sister, he was able to escape the fire. here is what he had to say. >> i felt a boom.
the whole ground was shaking. i thought it was an earthquake. as soon as i felt the heat i knew there is was something wrong. as soon as i looked outside, the trees were on fire, my dog house was on fire. i was asleep, i heard a big explosion, but i felt the heat and the roof was falling in. as soon as i got up, i took everyone from the house and started immediately running. the heat was very close, very, very close. >> reporter: there are many people who are psychologically scared from what has happened. and it's going to take a long time for people to heal from this. 15 were treated, several have gone to burn units. i talked to a nurse, here's the other good thing about people who come forward. i talked to a nurse who was walking out of here, she said that she had volunteered her help, that she had worked the
oakland fire so she thought she could be some help. she just shook her head and said, some people here were badly injured. live in south san francisco at the kaiser hospital, lloyd lacuesta. >> we just want to reference to live pictures before we go to john sasaki here to the left of the your screen. as you can see right know, i know it's hard to see john. but these are live pictures that shows a very active scene. you're looking at a residential area that has been wiped out from this residential fire bomb. this was a pg & e gas transmission line that ruptured around 6:30 this evening resulting in that major explosion and fire ball. basically a fire broke out and went from house to house just across this residential area in
san bruno. what you're looking at now. this happened earlier tonight, but this is still a disastery. emergency personnel from across the area responding to this scene. everyone helping out, going house to house, looking for victims and trying to put out these fires. this is going to be a very, very long night and just a horrible night. this thing happened at dinner hour. with a lot of families sitting at home. we don't know the extent of the damage or the toll it's taken yet. >> we do know that one person has died. the san mateo county coroner confirmed that for us a while ago. as lloyd told us, half a dozen people were hurt. he talked to the fire chief and he couldn't give us a whole lot of information. the gist of what he said is the worse of this fire is over. certainly looks as though they have this fire contained. now it's just a matter of putting out the houses that are
already on fire and hopefully keep it from spreading to any other houses. the best guesstimate we have. 20 homes burned, judging from these pictures may very well be more than 20. >> and let's go to john sasaki who's been in the neighborhood, he's been talking to people in the area to get their reaction to what happened tonight. john-- >> reporter: julie, we're add sneed and secoia. remind the viewers of what you saw and what you experienced when you came outside. >> basically we were upstairs in my house over there, and there was a huge explosion. at first we heard like an airplane. and we thought it was an airplane crashes into a bunch of houses. but i guess they were saying it was a gas line. the whole house kind of shook.
it was a loud, really loud noise. we ran outside and there's just smoke up in the air. and a huge huge fire, it was like hundreds of feet in the air. >> reporter: now since then, you've learned real personal information about one of your family members. >> one of our uncles is on clairmont and his house burned down. >> reporter: having watched what you saw here, having seen that wall of flames, knowing how it was spreading through that whole area. were you concerned knowing that your house was in their area. did you think, maybe that's going to be one of the ones in this line of fire? >> yeah, at first everybody was wondering where exactly the fire was because no one could really see. there was just too much smoke to see anything. and they were saying that it was spreading. the wind was going a certain way and it was going to spread and spread. and we didn't know where exactly the fire was spreading.
>> reporter: now there is some good news and that is that your uncle got out safely. he was evacuated. >> yes, he did. yes, he was. >> reporter: thank you for talking to us tonight. we're sorry for what happened to your uncle. john sasaki, ktvu news. because of this fire a lot of people have not only lost their homes, they have nowhere to go. so what people have done is they are heading to the bay hill shopping center, the red cross is there helping out. they've got an evacuation center out there giving them some coffee and maybe a warm blanket to keep warm. jana katsuyama is there now. you are saying more and more people are going down there. >> reporter: it went from 20 to 25, now it's about 100 people here. it's hard to tell because there's people at the
evacuation center, there's a red cross that have been helping people out. and there's people coming in who are just trying to pass out blankets. we saw a woman passing out blankets and coats to people who has been here just waiting. we want to let you know, just about five minutes ago, they made an announcement from the evacuation center. i want you to look here, there's a transsam bus. they asked that everybody who lives on clairmont to come up to this bus, we understand that inside the mayor and the vice mayor are there, they are being briefed by some of the police officers and other staff then they are going to be talking with some of the citizens. now i asked them why clairmont, and the police officer there told me that clairmont and fairmont are two of the areas that are hardest hit. so the mayor and vice mayor want to make sure they talk to those people, find out their contact information and find out what they need. you can see some of these people wearing just what they
left the house with. have been trying to make their way through the shopping center and make their way up there. it's a pretty steep hill that goes up the road there. but they are asking the people from clairmont to come up here. i have not yet had the chance to speak to the mayor or vice mayor to see what they found out during their briefing. it's getting cold out here and windy. when you don't have a coat out here, it gets cold. so a lot of them taking shelter in those buses and over here in the red cross bus. a shelter has been set up at the san pablo recreation center. they are directing people from here to that shelter if they think they need a place to stay tonight. many people making arrangements to stay with family or friends or get a motel room as one man
told me a little earlier. if those are not options to you, they are asking you to go to the san pablo rec center and take shelter there. we'll try to get ahold of the mayor and vice mayor to find out what they are finding out in these briefings, we send it back to you. let's go to tom vacar, he just spoke to the president of pg & e. what do they have to say tonight? >> reporter: i spoke to the vice president of pg & e who has been a friend of mine for about 20 years. chris johns is going to the scene in san bruno right now. greg putt told me that pg & e is still not sure that it is its facility that caused this problem. but if it is, they will take full responsibility for it and
they are in the process of investigating that. but the president of the company is on his way to san bruno within a half hour to an hour we should be hearing from him at the scene talking about the things that need to be talked about and that's plenty of stuff. >> tom, i'm curious, if it wasn't pg & e who might it have been? >> i mean, it is conceivable that somebody else may actually be responsible for some facility that failed and we think this is probably a large high pressure gas main that distributes gas throughout the entire area. so, i suspect that nobody is going to accept full responsibility to know exactly who is responsible with pg & e has said that there was a fire many many years ago in alameda where some homes were burned down and the then chairman bob glen went out to the scene and was talking to reporters and this is pretty much the pg & e
way of doing things. johns will go out there and field questions. they're going to start answering some questions rather than just work through spokes people and all that stuff. these are two of the highest people in the whole pg & e system they will be out there and they just confirmed this a couple of moments ago. >> reporter: did pruitt confirm this at all, on to how this may have happened and if there was any work in the area going on? >> i had e-mailed greg a few minutes ago and asked him a series of questions. i don't think he was prepared to answer them. i don't know if he knew the answers to those question, they were fairly technical. those questions were if these pipes were wrapped because they are less likely to corrode than if they are not wrapped.
and there were questions a few years ago of whether or not they were wrapped. that was many years ago, so who knows what the situation is now. i also wondered if these things were corroded. because corrosion is the worse thing that can happen to a pipeline whether it's carrying water or a gas pipeline. pruitt immediately called me back and said, they were on their way to answer any questions that they have to answer. i'm sure they'll be talking to their senior engineers who can answer the questions. >> we're going to amber lee, who is waiting with someone who is waiting to learn if her house burned down or not. >> reporter: we just saw a couple carrying their pets walking up the hill. the wife birane lowe was kind
enough to stop and talk to us about what is happening tonight. what happened when you got home? >> i heard an explosion and the house was violently shaking. at that point i turned and saw out of our kitchen window just flames. and i think my reaction as i looked out the window was everything is on fire. so at that point i just, i turned around and i grabbed my two dogs and i grabbed my keys and jumped in the car and at that point everybody was getting in their cars and leaving up the street. i saw at the base of my street, the houses were already on fire and i -- as i was driving out there was just groups and groups of houses that were already fully engulfed in flames. >> reporter: do you have any idea what was happening at the time other than you seeing this? >> no, like everything that was going through my mind was just, everything is on fire.
i had no idea what was going on. it's just the biggest fire i've ever seen in -- the way everything ignited so quickly. it wasn't like one house is on fire. it was like the entire neighborhood was on fire. >> reporter: what were you able to grab? >> my two dogs and the keys to my car. >> reporter: that's it? >> yeah. >> reporter: do you know what the situation is with your home now? >> no, we just walked up this hill here. they let us walk up and we went up to the top where there's a clearing and they let us look down. and we can see our neighborhood, but it's really hard to gauge where our street is. we can see houses still on fire. others smoldering. and making guesses that where our house is, it's really hard to say. i have no idead. i don't think it's looking good. >> reporter: where are you going to stay tonight? >> we've had a lot of friends and family reach out to us and we're probably going to stay with one of them.
>> reporter: thank you for stopping brianne, i know it's very stressful, we thank you for talking to us. there you heard, brianne was just getting home from work, she just had time to grab her two dogs and keys to the car. amber lee, ktvu channel 2 news. all right, thank you amber. as you look at these live pictures this whole event started to unfold about four hours ago just before 6:30. as you heard the woman there talking. just a massive explosion, a huge fire plume. we want to go to our newsroom now. gasia mikaelian, she has a picture showing us exactly what it looked like then and what it looks like now. >> what i'm going to show you is pictures that we were able to take from the ground. we've seen a lot of aerial pictures, but these pictures show what it was like in the very beginning. remember this fire has been going now for about four hours. these pictures, we haven't been
able to show you before. but this reenforces exactly what that young woman who was speaking to amber lee was saying. she said it's not like one house was on fire, it was like the entire neighborhood was on fire. one of the photographers, this is bryan carmandie, we spoke with him live on the air a couple of hours ago, he was the one that was up close about as close as you can get without jeopardizing your own safety, and he said that one of the fire crews took his own personal vehicle to take one of the wounded residents to the hospital. so these pictures are coming from him, from bryan carmendie. that is just a frame of the home that is left. they just look like toothpicks. it's almost like the pictures tell the whole story here. and all we can do is sit back and look at them. but now that we're able to see what these firefighters were up against. they are trying to put out a home when there are burns homes around them. you can see an ever growing
fire that we saw earlier in the evening. not quite vortex but bubbling up flame, the way it looks. you can tell this was early on in the evening. so now as we kind of read these pictures, it's getting a little later on in the evening. we show you the helicopters that are doing their work, trying to put water on the fire from above. we heard a lot of residents say, i heard the explosion, but i heard airplanes over head. here again on the nighttime fire fight. these pictures are taken from the ground. you can see the flames, they are pretty close to power lines. we have fire departments, we have calfire, fire departments from all across the bay area. many firefighters coming in their civilian clothes. it being a day off for them and their knowing that their help
is needed, they are rushing to the scene here. the plume of fire that we saw early on. compare this to what we are seeing here. the fire in this case, much quieter. you see all the flashing lights all over the screen. there are pockets of fire here and there. i can count at least five right here on this screen that we are seeing. so to much different story than it was earlier on than that huge billowing fire concentrated on the center there. but the big question here, exactly how many homes are affected? we don't know. how many people are affected? we don't know. you've been bringing us numbers of people around the bay but we still haven't gotten a full count of how many people were injured. this is a live scene here from news chopper 2. you can see
lots of emergency vehicles. you can see that firefighters have been able to get closer to the scene of the origination of the fire. so, you back at the studio and at home, take a look at these pictures and understand the trajectory of this story. as fire crews and investigators now make their way on to the scene, we should be getting a clearer picture of how many people are affected, exactly where the fire started and of course the big question here, exactly what started the fire. frank and julie, back to you. >> gasia, thank you. we do want to let you know, we have a few numbers of the injured. there's been one fatality tonight. kaiser is reporting 15 people being treated for burns. five people taken to mills for minor burns. san francisco general reporting
two people taken there, at least a man and a woman in critical condition. st.francis, it was in disaster mode, it was treated three people with critical burns. seton medical center, when we called there they said they were just too busy to get us numbers on who was being treated. right now they are treating, we should let you know that they provide blood for all of the surrounding hospitals. spokeswoman there lisa block said they are issues a blood emergency, what they are using is o negative blood. they say they should be okay tonight but they are urging people to come in tomorrow morning and donate blood. let's go to jana katsuyama. >> reporter: we've just seen people coming in here, as one of the closest stages areas in
the evacuation center. one of the thing that's really been amazing is the people who have been just coming here to help. i found brandon shane who's just 17 years old from here in san bruno. tell us a little bit about how you heard about this and what you decided to do to help. >> a friend and i were headed into the direction of the fire. we were going to a friend's house. and it's so local, we thought, forget about going any where and we parked the car here. >> reporter: so how did you help the people. >> we have a friend that works at red robin. and she called us and said red robin was willing to help. so i got a car. >> reporter: you came down here and you've been passing out food. >> yeah, pretty much. there isn't really a formal
station. we were hoping for like a table or something where you know that could be set. doesn't look like red cross is accepting any, you know donations. >> reporter: i've seen you working around this crowd and it's definitely -- thank you brandon for talking to us. we've seen people coming in with blankets, food, drinks and stuff like that to help people out. this has just been a tremendous outpouring of community support to try to help the people who are being evacuated. we understand the mayor and vice mayor are talking to some of the residents on clairmont. that is one of the hardest hit area i heard. we're going to stay here and try to get some information from them about the latest that they are hearing and what they are advising a lot of these
evacuees to do. so we're going to stay here and let you know as we get that information. we'll send it back to you. >> thank you, jana. always need to see how people, sometimes the worse of times can bring out the best in people and that's certainly the case with that gentleman there coming down with the food for those folks. okay we want to go back down to amber lee who's with someone who saw all of this happen. amber, she's just here visiting? >> reporter: no it's a he. we're in san bruno avenue, we have a lot of people gathering trying to get information. one of those people is steve parr. can you tell me, you're from boston. what was going on when this happened. >> i had just got back from shopping at safeway with a few things we needed for dinner. and we were talking and all of a sudden the whole house started the shake. then my cousin's boyfriend said, it's probably a plane. then all of a sudden we heard
all is sirens. and smoke was billowing up, instantly there was helicopters and flames and everything flying within a couple of minutes of it happening. and you can hear sirens going on around the whole house. that's when we tuned in to the tv. everything, that's when we found out, initially what they thought it was a plane that went down. then it came out to be a pipeline or gas line or something. >> reporter: what brought you out here. i know this is under evacuation order. >> i'm only a couple of blocks away. i figured, this is history, this is devastation. and i came down here to see how close i could get. >> reporter: the road continues to be closed off. >> it's mayhem up there. it's like crazy. i just wish, i hope that everybody made it out safe. i heard of one confirmed death. but you know, this is devastating. >> thanks, steve. thanks for your time. again there's a lot of people out here simply trying to see
what's going on. trying to get information. and that is the latest from here. reporting live in san bruno, amber lee, ktvu channel 2 news. >> amber thank you, we just received more information tonight. calfire is now reporting, now just told us that 53 homes have been lost tonight. destroyed by these fires. 120 other homes damaged. again calfire just saying, 53 homes lost, 120 damaged. and a number of people injured and one confirmed fatality. we want to let you know that the san bruno parks and recreation center, department center is operating now as an emergency shelter. if you need assistance or want to find someone, the san bruno parks and recreation center operating tonight as an emergency shelter. also, we should say we heard from tom vacar a little bit earlier. pg & e has said that this was a pg & e transmission line that ruptured.
but pg & e is not sure what happened or who may be responsible. that pg & e is now saying tonight, that quote their thoughts go out to everyone affected by this situation and their priority right now is to make sure that the area is safe. and if it is in fact, that they are responsible, that they will take care of the damages and the resulting disaster that we are seeing here with those 53 homes lost and 120 others damaged. okay we are going to go back now to john sasaki who is in an area not far, just a couple of blocks from this fire in fact. john-- >> reporter: we're standing at the corner of secoia and sneed, an area where this has been very, very active. not only with emergency crews passing through but residents of this area coming out. they've been coming out watching what's going on. a lot of them sharing their stories with us. you're a resident of this area
and a student at skyland college. and you were leaving to school when this all happened. >> right, as i was going to school my neighbors pointed out, gas station explosion. and i looked over and then all you see is flames going up into the sky. i went to school. >> reporter: now i want to point out that you mentioned that your friends, people you know were saying that explosion, we heard people saying an plane went down. in reality it was neither, it
was a gas pipeline that exploded. tell us how you came about to find out what happened. >> i got out, i decided to -- most of the streets were shut down. so i decided to go near the top of the hill where you know you can see the fire still protruding out. i was just trying to talk to the neighbors to find out what was going on. and everybody said, like either i got a plane went down or a gas station blew up. then like, then finally some kid said, the cops went by and told them 15-inch gas main blew up. that's what caused the explosion, so, yeah. >> reporter: so from, you know you're still a pretty good -- what do you have right there? you still, if you can show us
the video. you are still a distance away but you are still very clear that this is an enormous fire even from the distance you were at. >> yeah, it was really big. i mean i live, like i said .25- mile from here and you can see the flames just shooting, two, 3 feet in the sky at 6:30. i mean it was blazing. my neighbors were like, everybody was out on the street .25-mile, and we could see the flames. >> reporter: you were at school but you decided just to leave. >> i decided just to leave, because my parents were home. i got home and the electricity was out. so i didn't know what was going on. basically we were cut off from like any kind of news there was going. >> reporter: and are you thinking maybe you are thinking you have to evacuate, take your parents and get out. >> my mom was thinking about that and when i got to the point where i was filming, i
said no. unless the wind picked up more, i don't -- i didn't think it was going to cross sneed. >> reporter: talking about the weather conditions, we've been talking about how it's just cold and blustery and foggy here and all of that. a lot of people have been mentioning to me that if the winds had been different, that this could have been a completely different kind of situation. >> i think so too, because earlier when the wind was actually gusting this way, you can see ambers shooting up in the sky. and even around 7:30, some of the fire trucks were starting to spray down the houses on whatever street that is. they were just spraying down the rooftops, the trees and stuff. >> reporter: so now, it's coming out that it was that pipeline that apparently caused this. and 53 homes lost, and 120 homes damaged, i mean is that -- when you were watching all of this going on. is that what you think was happening because this is such a vast fire that you were
witnessing. >> reporter: i didn't think that many houses were going to get destroyed. i didn't think an explosion would have caused that much damage. maybe two or three, the houses of the original explosion. but for -- i mean for 53 houses to go down, there's no words you can say. >> reporter: all right, alex, thank you so much. we appreciate you showing the video to us and talking to us. appreciate it. that's what's going on right here at sneeth and secoia. >> reporter: more updated numbers to pass along. calfire saying 10 acres burned tonight, this fire is 50% contained at this hour. we want to go now to steve sharp with the american red cross. he joins us on the telephone, steve what can you tell us about how the agency is responding. >> everything looks pretty organized. i'm at the bay hill evacuation
center where the sheriff's department is registering, red cross is giving information on sheltering and supporting people with immediate needs as far as pharmaceuticals. >> reporter: steve, you've got, i mean judging by the 53 homes lost and 120 homes damaged, you've got at least a couple hundred people tonight that don't have a place to go. what's happening to them? >> at this point looks like many of those people have alternate places to stay. we've opened two shelters, 1261 parkway and the church of the highlands. we have both those shelters open and we're accepting people as they come in. >> reporter: and as people do come in, i'm sure they'll be needing assistance with
shelter, food and clothing. people want to help, what kind of advise would you like for people to do and help. >> with the american red cross, we would say go online to the american red cross and donate. we don't accept donations or food. >> reporter: after tonight, how will the red cross help these folks who have been displaced? >> we have an ongoing ways of helping people. we have a command center set up at the area, we'll be on sight and working with the people, however long it takes. we have great follow up. people will be giving phone
numbers to contact us as there are other forms of assistance may run out. >> reporter: i mentioned, there'll be food and what not at these places. >> oh, yes. foods, cots, blankets, we're pretty well organized with all of these things ready to go in these instances. so it's just a matter of rolling out and opening the number of shelters as needed. at this point, like we said we have two shelters open. we'll of course open more as needed. sometimes we'll have to open secondary shelters depending on how long these people will need to be sheltering. >> reporter: steve, do me a favor if you would. where are those two shelters again and are there folks actually down there now. >> oh, yes. i'm sure there's some.
there's several people each at the evacuation sites. here registers with the police at the memorial center, veterans memorial center on parkway and san bruno i was there earlier, there was a few people there. it's unclear how many will be needing shelter tonight. and let's go to gasia mikaelian. >> we have more video to show you. this was video that was taken from the seen. it's a home on vermont and clairmont. you can see there the street sign in the foreground of the picture. this home is completely on fire as are the two vehicles in the middle of the street, these pictures obviously taken not long after the explosion happened and the fire started. and this from what we can tell is on one of those streets that's been brought up again and again in our hours of coverage of this story. the home we showed you just a
now. it's a lot quieter scene, there are a lot more emergency vehicles in and around the scene. before the emergency crews were in and around the perimeter around that fire. now they've been able to move in. there are still flames it appears but there are a lot of emergency personnel on the ground in the neighborhoods. they are there where residents cannot go. and that's why you have people such as amber lee and jana katsuyama at emergency centers bringing us stories who are saying, i had to get out quickly. i got my dogs and car keys, i got the clothes that i'm wearing and that's it. information is coming to us in the form of pictures. if we have that video, if you would like to show it again it's from vermont and clairmont that one of our photographers found a home that was totally engulfed in flames at the beginning of the explosion and fire that happened about four hours ago now at this point.
there are a number of streets that keep coming up in our coverage. they are clairmont, they are fairmont. there's those pictures again. a car engulfed in flames. you see fire crews standing there. and we can only expect that they are doing the very best that they can do. at some point you have to think the home that's in the middle of screen there that cannot be saved. this is another home that was burned, i mean just to the very bare bones. these are homes where people are going to be eventually making their way back into the neighborhood. finding their address and most likely finding where their home used to be. so, while we're bringing you these pictures because they really in effect are telling the whole story, we're also very mindful that there are people right now here in the bay area wondering is that my home, is that my neighbors home. is my family who lives in that neighborhood okay? so as bill martin was
mentioning, we are just a few hours into this incident and it's going to take overnight and into tomorrow before people can really assess what's going on. people walking around in a bit of a daze. when you see it in the bright light of day and you're able to go right in front of where the home is or used to be, that is when it's really going to hit home for a lot of people. as we get more video into our newsroom. we'll share it with you. for now, we'll go back into the studio and julie and frank. >> thank you, gasia. now we want to go back to amber lee, it's always interesting with stories like this about the people who help out. who get involved in amber is one of them tonight. >> reporter: we are continuing to see emergency personnel arrive here. and one man here, john doll, you own a home here and you put your skills as an officer to work. tell us what happened here.
>> it was approximately a 1/4 to 6:00. and i felt an explosion. i didn't no what was going on. so i saw officers directed traffic, so i came out and put my hat and badge on and started directing traffic. and more and more people arrived until they got the situation out of control. >> reporter: while you were out here, what was your thought about the safety and your own home. because you are a resident of this neighborhood. >> i wasn't too concerned, the power was still on. then the power went out an hour later. then the gas went out. so i kind of figured it was something that had to do with that because the heat, you could feel the heat. the heat was just tremendous.
never seen anything like it. i thought you know, a couple of thing, at first i thought it was a car accident. then e thought it was a plane. then i said, -- then i thought it was a plane. then if it's a plane, it had to be connected with something bigger because the flames were so high and intense. they were burning, you could feel the heat, you could just feel the heat. >> reporter: how responsive were the people? >> not at all. people wanted to get up there, they wanted to get up. when you said you have to go this way and that way, they just stopped and couldn't understand why they couldn't go up. well, i have to get that way. i have to get that way. but that's normal. that's part of the course. most people are concerned because they have families or whatever. they just want to go where they want to go and they want to go. >> reporter: never any hesitation on your part to put
on that badge even if you don't work for the city. >> no, i'm trained. i'm one of the first responders for the city. i've worked in the past for earthquakes and bridge closures i've done a lot of things for the city. this was no different. it's very chaotic because you don't normally see that happening. with all the homes and lives so far that may have or may not have lost. i know there's been a lot of injures. i think they said four or five blocks have been wiped out. i haven't seen anything. just really heard a lot just from other officers and people have been talking, i spent most of the time out there. >> reporter: thanks john for your time and your service. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: there you have it, just another story of people coming to the aid of others. amber lee, ktvu news. we're going to go to chief meteorologist bill martin who's been following the weather conditions in the san bruno area. bill, what's the situation? >> we've been talking about
this all afternoon and into the evening hours. as you look at the pictures, the moisture in the air, the lower temperatures and the west wind have really combined to make things a lot better. i know as you see this you're thinking, how can this be better. but if the wind would have been different, it would have been a whole different deal. humidity in the fire area is well above 80%. and the winds are out of the west. and so, that is good news for
firefighters. one thing i would say with this weather. it's cold out there. people who have been displaced, this is a neighborhood of 200 homes. the people have been displaced at this hour. they are needing warmth, because the area is probably in the mid-40s, upper 40s, it is very chilly out there. weather has been very helpful tonight for firefighters. >> thanks, bill. now back to jana katsuyama. >> i just spoke to the fire chief briefly. i got a hold of a few people that were on the bus. michelle and paul. you were on clairmont is that correct. >> yes, that's correct. >> reporter: tell us a little bit about what happened. you got on to the bus and what
did they say? >> they debriefed us on when we can call the hot line. when we can go back to our houses. >> reporter: did they say when you could get back to your house? >> no, they did not. they said call the hot line. >> reporter: what did they tell you about what you can do tonight? >> they said we can go to the shelter. or call family or friends. >> reporter: paul i want to go with you, were you satisfied to what you were saying, the kind of information that was being
given to you. >> reporter: what are they doing for evacuees if you need medication. >> they were saying that at the red cross bus, they could get medication. like if you had asthma, you can get an inhaler for that. >> reporter: it's good that you were able to get out safely and without injury. >> yes, shakenned up and cold. but high spirited. >> reporter: we're so glad that you were able to get out. we're going to let you get warm and hopefully everything goes well with your friend. again you heard, they are going to have a hot line. they won't be up and running
until 10:00 tomorrow morning. 10:00 tomorrow morning. a hot line that will let people know when they can go back to their house, again these were people that were on clairmont which they were saying was one of the hardest hit area. we are at the shopping center, we have a red cross here. and i want to show you right here, where they have been getting donations from people around the area, there's food. there are blankets. there are jackets, there's water. all things for people who are just kind of trying to get what they can to help. they've been seeing these picture and it's been touching them. a lot of them are trying to do whatever they can to help out in whatever small way. as you saw, as the two people we talked to got a couple of blankets; because it's chilly out here. we're not sure that the red
cross is accepting any food. but blankets, and jackets. a lot of these people don't have anything right now, so they are really in need. we're going to try to stay on top of this, and we're going to try to get an interview with the vice mayor who has been getting briefings regularly from police. there are a lot of police out here on the scene from san mateo, san bruno and surrounding jurisdictions to see if they can keep order here. when we started off it was about 15, 20 people. and now it's really grown to take half of the parking lot here at the bay hill shopping center. we'll send it back to you. >> we want to show you the amazing pictures coming out of the neighborhood. gasia has been following that, what do you have now. >> reporter: i have a picture and a story to go with them. this gentleman who took this picture. he was at the parking lot of his church.
the church of the highland. you can see from his vantage point. he took his camera and started taking pictures just minutes after the explosion happened. we know it's daylight because it's daylight, but we know it's early on because, we've heard it before and true in this case, it's a fire ball. people said, that looks like more than a house fire, something major is going on there. over time this grew and spread out. and later when the gas line was capped, the news spread. but people told us they felt their houses shake, so that is what it looked like literally minutes after it happened. i have another piece of video tape i'd like to share with you. just listen to what we hear.
we heard just a second ago, four or five explosions, pop, pop, pop. we were able to hear those from as far away from where the videographer was taping. people kept saying they were hearing explosioning. we kept hearing the explosions. once the lines were capped, people said we don't hear the pops anymore. we hear the helicopters and emergency crews. it's a completely different
operation now. you don't see that concentrated torch like plume of flame. you see a lot of smoke in the air still. but the scene is much more widespread. it is a lot quieter in some ways. but the real work of finding out is there anyone inside these holes. are these homes okay. who can go home on the days to come. and who has to start life all over again, is really just beginning. so we'll try to find more video to tell the story from that aspect. until then, we will send it back to frank. >> as we take a look at these live pictures. we're going to kind of set the scene for you here and recap what happened. all of this started around 6:00 tonight with this massive explosion. we've seen learned that it was a gas line that ruptured. the flames were shooting 200 or 300 feet into the air. the numbers that we have. we have new numbers tonight giving us a sense of just how
devastating this fire was. calfire reports tonight that 53 homes in this neighborhood were lost more than 120 others were damaged and some of the hardest hit areas clairmont drive,fairmont drive. places in that area. the bottom line here is, this is just a disaster area. >> and we've learned that 10 acres has burned, 50% of the fire is contained, according to calfire at this hour. again, this is all coming starting a little after 6:00 this evening. the utility gas transmission line that ruptured just basically wiping out a large residential section of san bruno tonight. we have one confirmed report of one fatality. and at least 25 other people injured. many of those injuries are listed as critical or serious tonight. many of those people